The NBA was formed in 1947 as the result of a merger between two basketball organizations — the National Basketball League and the Basketball Association of America— who together formed the NBA. Since then, the association has become one of the biggest, most exciting sports organizations on the planet and has fans all over the world.
Some heavy marketing and the introduction of star players such as Michael Jordan and LeBron James, not to mention fast-paced basketball played at the highest level, have helped the NBA to become a household name. Not just individual players stand out, however, but also entire teams. Below is a look at some of this season’s strongest-performing teams.
The NBA might feature basketball at the highest level, but this season it looks as if the Celtics are playing at a level even beyond that, and it’s still early in the season, they’re the nailed-on favorites in the NBA odds and it’s easy to see why. This November, the Boston side demolished the Indiana Pacers 155-104, a scoreline you’d have to witness happening to believe it.
The Celtics sit at the top of the standings in the Eastern Conference, and their top man is, unsurprisingly, Jaylen Tatum, who has a habit of returning a better player each season. Clearly, he has been working on his impact off the ball, and this shows in his willingness to screen for other players. He’s also packed some extra muscle onto his frame off-season, which now gives him the freedom to choose between power and finesse when attacking the basket.
Snapping at the heels of the Celtics are the Philadelphia 76ers (and in hot pursuit of them are the Atlanta Hawks). Joel Embiid continues to be the driving force of the team and is the 2023 NBA MVP, despite not being the best player in the game but undoubtedly being one of the most dominant in the regular season, season in and season out. Currently, he’s averaging 29.0 points per game, the leading average on his team despite spending less time on average on the court than some of his colleagues.
The Sixers have gotten the season off to a fabulous start. The departure of James Harden has allowed Tobias Harris to sparkle in his increased role in the team’s attack and his shooting has come on strong. Meanwhile, Tyrese Maxey has become a better player and is oozing the potential to become one of the NBA’s elite young stars. As for the team in general, the ball movement is much more pleasing and the defense is also stronger. However, although the Sixers look impressive just now, they have some tough games ahead that some believe will prove whether the Sixers are as strong a side as they appear to be just now.
Out in the Western Conference, the current NBA champions, the Denver Nuggets, are ruling the roost and in no mood whatsoever to surrender their title. The team’s big three of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon are strong in possession and found the chemistry last season to help the team to their first franchise title.
The Nuggets developed Jokic, waited patiently for Murray to find his strengths and revitalized Gordon from a frustrating stay with the Orlando Magic. This season, they’ve picked up where they’ve left off, entering the season with the same dominance as the previous one. It’s not just all about them though, as they work with the other players in the team.
Hot on the heels of the Nuggets are the Dallas Mavericks, and the team stole the headlines on the opening night of the season with their performance against the San Antonio Spurs. Despite all eyes being on Victor Wembanyama as he made his debut in the NBA for the Spurs, the Dallas side made it all about them by producing a 126-119 victory over the side.
Main man Luka Doncic has been instrumental as always in the Mavericks’ progress in the Western Conference. The Slovenian is averaging 32.0 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 9.3 assists per game so far this season, which is his sixth in the NBA and also with the Mavericks, but injury could upset those statistics.
Kyrie Irving is also a big deal in the side and although he struggled slightly in the opening game, he managed to catch fire towards the end in the final quarter and rack up the points for his team.
The Celtics and the Sixers are the teams to watch in the Eastern Conference, but the Atlanta Hawks are pushing hard.
In the Western Conference, the Nuggets and the Mavericks are the teams to keep an eye on, but they mustn’t rest on their laurels. If they do, the Golden State Warriors could seize their moment to suppress both and climb to the top of the conference.